The best way to beat the heat for anyone without a central cooling system is with windows and portable conditioners.
They’re best for small or medium spaces — you certainly can’t keep your whole house ice cold with them—and they can be a bit noisy. Fortunately, they’re also inexpensive and effective.
Experts caution that you need to pick the right size air conditioner for the space — too small and it won’t cool the air enough, too large, and it will leave the air too humid.
Energy Star recommends units of:
6,000 BTU units up to 250 sq feet;
8,000 BTU units up to 350 sq feet;
10,000 BTU units up to 450 sq feet;
12,000 BTU units up to 550 sq feet.
Here are some of our favorite air conditioners, whatever your needs:
Frigidaire 10,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner: The Best Overall
The Frigidaire model is an excellent pick for anyone who needs to cool a medium-sized room. This 10,000-BTU unit is best for rooms up to 450sq feet, and it gets solid marks for effective cooling and ease of use.
The Frigidaire Air Conditioner features eight-way air deflection, a low-power energy-saving start, a temperature-sensing remote control, and a programmable 24-hour timer. It also has a clean-air ionizer, a feature sure to please allergy sufferers.
While you expect an AC this powerful to be loud, it gets solid expert marks for noise, particularly on low fan speeds. Owners offer mixed reviews: Some say it’s noisier than they would like, while others aren’t bothered.
Like most window air conditioners, the Frigidaire model is white and boxy with expandable side panels that allow it to fit windows up to 36 inches wide. The air conditioner itself is about 21.5 by 19 by 14.5 inches.
It comes with a limited one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system.
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LG 12,000 BTU 230V Window-Mounted AIR Conditioner: Runner Up, Best Overall
If you’re looking for a window air conditioner that can cool off a smaller space well, the LG LW8015ER is a true 8,000-BTU unit that is recommended for rooms up to 340sq feet. Experts even give it top marks for effective cooling and ease of use.
The LG unit features a thermistor thermostat, four-way air deflection, an energy-saving mode, a remote control, and a timer. It also has a few more thoughtful features, including anti-corrosion coating and easy-to-direct fan blades, so the unit won’t break down as fast.
Experts say it’s fairly quiet on low and still manageable on high, and most reviewers agree that noise isn’t an issue. They also say installation is a cinch.
Like most window air conditioners, the LW8015ER is white and boxy with expandable side panels that allow it to fit windows up to 36 inches wide. The air conditioner itself is about 19.5in by 19.5in by 12.5 inches. It is Energy Star-rated for efficiency and comes with a one-year warranty.
Frigidaire FFRA051WAE 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner: Best Budget-Friendly
Suppose you have a smaller space to cool and a smaller budget to work with. In that case, the Frigidaire FFRA051WAE is a simple air conditioner for any room up to 150 sq feet making it a good pick for home offices.
This 5,000 BTU unit gets reviewers’ top marks for effectiveness and solid marks for noise, but it costs a lot less than most other window units.
The FFRA051WAE doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but many reviewers actually like the simplicity. It has seven temperature settings, two fan settings, and two cool settings controlled with dual dials on the unit.
There isn’t a timer, remote, or digital thermostat, but reviewers don’t mind, saying it keeps them cool, and that’s what matters. They say the noise is average for a window air conditioner, but it isn’t the best pick for a room for those who don’t want a fair amount of white noise.
At just 15 by 16 by 12 inches, the white FFRA051WAE lives up to its billing of “mini,” but users can install side panels to fit windows up to 36 inches wide. It comes with a one-year warranty that extends up to five years for the sealed system. The only drawback is that it isn’t Energy Star-rated.
Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner: The best for Small Spaces
The Friedrich Chill is a good pick if you’re willing to spend a little bit more on a small-space window air conditioner. This 6,000 BTU air conditioner has many features and can cool off rooms up to 250 square feet.
The unit comes with 3 cooling and fan-only speeds, a 24-hour timer, a remote control, four-way air-flow, and an energy-saving mode. Owners give it good reviews for noise and say it’s quieter than most window air-conditioners being ideal for a bedroom for light sleepers.
The Chill is much larger than the budget Frigidaire FFRA051WAE at 14in by 18.5in by 21 in. Its side panels can extend to fit up easily to 36-inch windows.
It has a one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system, and it is Energy Star-rated for efficiency. The panels feature “EntryGard” protection that helps protect against burglars who may otherwise be able to easily kick in the air-conditioner panels to get into your home.
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LG LW1216ER 12,000 BTU 115-Volt Window Air Conditioner: The best for Large Spaces
Anyone with a larger living room or loft space that needs to be cooled should check out the LG LW1216ER. It’s a 12,000 BTU air conditioner that can cool larger rooms up to 550sq feet.
Reviewers say that it keeps them nice and cool without inflating their utility bills and manages to keep noise to a minimum. Experts agree and give it the highest possible marks for comfort in testing and excellent ones for noise when it’s on a low setting.
This LG AC has the features most buyers expect in a window air conditioner. This includes a remote control, a 24-hour timer, an energy-saving mode, four-way air deflection, three fan speeds, and three cooling speeds.
It’s among the quieter window air conditioners, especially at lower speeds. Many reviewers talk about how cold it keeps larger spaces, even when the temperature is sky-high.
The white, boxy LG measures roughly 24in by 15in by 22in and looks like a typical window air conditioner.
It comes with a limited one-year warranty and weighs 81 pounds. Consider grabbing a friend for installation.
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Frigidaire Smart Window Air Conditioner FGRC1044T1: The best Smart Model
Smart air conditioners have been slower to take off than other Wi-Fi-connected home appliances. Still, owners say the Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 Cool Connect is worth the upgrade. This 10,000 BTU unit is best for medium-size rooms up to 350 square feet.
The Energy Star-certified Cool Connect’s biggest draw is its Wi-Fi connectivity.
This allows iPhone or Android users to fully schedule and operate the air conditioner from anywhere. The app is easy to use. It even integrates with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. If you don’t carry your phone around your home, Cool Connect also comes with remote control.
There are three fan and cooling speeds, a built-in ionizer that cleans the air, and an energy-saving sleep mode. The noise gets mixed reviews from owners.
The Cool Connect is a lot sleeker than a typical window air conditioner, with a clean white front and an elegant mesh grill that design-conscious buyers appreciate. It’s also relatively compact at roughly 18.5in by 16in by 13.5 in.
It has a limited one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system.
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Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner: The Best Portable
Portable air conditioners are a good alternative for anyone who can’t install a window unit, and reviewers say the Honeywell MN10CESWW is among your best choices. This 10,000 BTU unit is ideal for rooms up to 350sq feet.
The Honeywell features an LCD display and digital controls that are easy to use. However, a few reviewers complain they’re too sensitive. It also has a built-in dehumidifier, a programmable timer, and remote control.
It’s the quietest portable air conditioner at low settings. Owners say it’s no louder than a typical window air conditioner.
While you don’t get a color choice with most portable air conditioners, the Honeywell comes in different colors.
It’s about 29in high, 18in wide, and 15in deep, and unlike window air conditioners, it demands some floor space.
With the help of an auto-evaporation system, users don’t have to empty a drip pan. However, water may still have to be drained in high-humidity conditions. The unit comes with a one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system.
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Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner Inverter+ Ductless: The best Split System
Split system air conditioners have two main parts — a ductless indoor unit and an outdoor unit, making them different from standard window units.
This type of air conditioner is usually much more expensive than window-mounted units. Still, the benefit is that you don’t have a cumbersome device in your window all summer.
The Pioneer WYS012-17 is a highly-rated split system air conditioner. It has a cooling and heating capacity of 12,000 BTU, meaning it can cool a larger room with ease.
Both indoor and outdoor fans are extremely quiet, and it uses a minimal amount of electricity. The indoor section has a modern design, including a dimmable LED display. It can be easily mounted on the wall where needed.
The unit comes with wireless remote control and all the equipment needed to install it, including copper tubing, drain line extension, and more. However, reviewers note that installation is pretty complicated.
If you arent familiar with HVAC processes, you might be better off paying for professional installation.
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Costway 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier: Best Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners are popular among people who don’t want to install a window unit. The Costway 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent option for small to medium-sized rooms.
The multi-function unit can be used in all areas of the house, and it includes wheels for easy portability from room to room.
The Costaway Portable AC also has dehumidifying settings, and it boasts fan and sleep modes as well. Two fan speeds can be controlled via its LED control panel or wireless remote.
It can be set anywhere between 62.6 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You can easily program it to automatically turn on and off as you like.
This portable air conditioner’s downside is that it must be vented to a window using the included exhaust tube and window seal plate. This can be a bit unsightly, but it is an effective cooling unit nonetheless.
Staying cool in the summer became a lot easier with a properly functioning air conditioning system in your home. But this requires getting the right system in the first place and then maintaining it, and if necessary, repairing it too.
Air conditioning systems come in a variety of styles and energy efficiency measured in SEER. Current regulations require at least a 13 SEER system with SEER ratings going as high as 21.
Some systems work as an add-on to a forced-air furnace (central air), which relies upon the existing heating duct for cool air distribution.
Other systems are designed for use where air distribution by a duct is difficult (PTAC systems or unitary window units). As a result of these options, there is also a wide variation in cost for an air conditioning system. But you can find a solution to fit your budget.
We provide you a list of the top 7 tutorials to get you on the road to a cool home this summer. It covers everything from selecting the right air conditioning system to maintenance and repair issues.
So take some time and get familiar with how to be “chill” this summer.
How an Air Conditioning System Works
If you are looking for the best portable air conditioner for your home or office, you need to understand how they work. When it comes to an air-conditioning unit, there are two main types that you need to know about: the portable unit and the ductless unit. Although the name says they are different, they both work well in similar ways and are both equally effective.
The best portable air conditioner is made for areas where you have to cool small rooms by allowing cool air to enter through a small opening on your wall or through an outdoor duct. Portable AC is ideal for extremely humid climates as it cools the hot air by removing moisture from inside it. This makes this type of air conditioner much more efficient than the other types and allows you to cool a smaller area. The air it sucks in is also already conditioned, making it cooler. You must understand exactly how it works so that you will be able to purchase the best portable air conditioner for your specific situation.
Some units simply have an exhaust hose that takes the cool air outside and sends it back into your home or office. You will need to know the power rating of the portable air conditioner you are looking at and how many square feet it cools on an hourly basis. You can find these in either a mode or cool air only. If you are looking for an affordable way to cool your office or home, then either a or cool air only will work well, but if you have more needs than just one, then go with the ac mode.
One of the most amazing machines made is the air conditioner. I mean, it takes heat from your house and dumps it outside. And does it using 5 bizarre things, including:
RefrigerantCompressorCondenserExpansion ValveEvaporator CoilRefrigerant is amazing stuff as it changes its state from gas vapor to a liquid as heat is collected from your house and rejected to the outside.
The Compressor is the pump that keeps things moving, and the Condenser is where the refrigerant changes state from a vapor to a liquid.
The Expansion Valve houses more physics and state changes. A hot, high-pressure fluid on one side of the valve change to a cool, low-pressure mist on the other side of the valve because a gas cools as it expands.
Lastly, the Evaporator Coil is where cool air is created as air is blown across the coil to cool your home.
Central Air Conditioning Unit and Heat Pump Maintenance
The air conditioner takes hot air and makes it cold. The heat pump does the same thing, except it can also “run in reverse” and pump heat out of cold air. So cool!
These two devices share the same refrigerant, compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator coil components.
With their location outside, a good annual maintenance program should include:
- Cleaning the condensing coils of dirt, leaves, and other debris
- Checking the condensing coil fins for damage
- Lubricating fan bearings
- Inspecting the fan for damage.
This tutorial will also describe shutting off the unit’s power, removing the protective grills and lubricating the motor, cleaning condenser coils, straightening the coil fins, and leveling the condenser.
Window Air Conditioner Maintenance
Window air conditioners are a great solution for limited cooling applications or when you want to add removable cooling to a home you don’t own, like a rental.
But to do an effective job at cooling, they need to be sized properly and periodically maintained.
A room that is 150 square feet to 250 square feet requires an average of 6,000 BTU of cooling per hour, a 450 to 550 square foot room requires about 12,000 BTU, then the ratio decreases above that point in terms of BTU required per square foot.
Window Air Conditioning Repair
Window-mounted air conditioners pack a lot of equipment in a small space. The same basic components as found in a central air system are found in these little units that are set on your windowsill. It’s just that the condenser discharge is out the window instead of a remote ground-mounted unit.
Improve Your House Cooling with Window Air Conditioning Tricks
This tutorial is about doing more with less. So what do you do if you have a window air conditioner with good cooling capacity but want to cool more than one room?
Well, aside from using multiple window air conditioners, there are some tricks you can use, employing a box fan or even your home’s furnace and ductwork.
You’ll learn how to strategically place box fans for maximum effect and how to use the return air duct in your home’s furnace to deliver cool air to remote rooms. Cool solutions!
How to Keep Condensing Unit Cooling Fins Clean and Straight
The condensing unit in your air conditioner relies on air moving through its cooling fins to cool the refrigerant in the system. Occasionally the fins, made of thin metal, can get damaged from impact by tree limbs or sticks, hail, high-pressure power washing, or other external factors.
Bent fins can restrict the flow of air through the condensing unit and can cause problems. So when the fins get bent, it’s a good idea to fix the fins and straighten them with a small tool called a fin comb. The fin comb comes in different head styles and sizes to best match the condensing coil fin counts.
Portable air conditioning is ideal for hot and humid climates since it cools the hot air by extracting moisture from it. This type of air conditioner has been commonly used in hospitals, offices and homes.
This indoor air conditioning unit is usually placed in a location where it can be reached easily by people; this means it is placed in a hallway, near a doorway, or any other area where people can access it easily. Usually, people are required to open the door for ventilation or dehumidification purposes. The evaporative air cooler is composed of a compressor, condenser, and evaporator.
One of the advantages of using a portable air conditioner is its mobility. Portable air conditioning is made for buildings and areas where it can be moved around freely. Most of these types of conditioning units are placed in office spaces. For example, this portable air conditioner should be strategically placed in a room that has limited space, so that the cooling effect is not interrupted when people enter the room.
An additional feature that the best portable air conditioner has been the presence of a remote control. This remote control allows the user to cool or warm the room without having to get up and remove the cooling unit from its place. When choosing the portable air conditioner with a remote control, the size of the room should be taken into consideration.
A portable ac unit usually comes in three different sizes. The smallest one is the portable ac unit which is just large enough to be moved from room to room. Most of these units can cool a room by just opening the door of the room it is located in. The other size of portable ac is the miniaturized size. This type is much smaller than the standard size. This size can cool a room only by installing it on the wall of the room where it is placed.
As the temperature outside starts to get very cold, the need for the best portable air conditioner also increases. These units have the capability of cooling a room to the levels that are needed for human comfort. They have the ability to cool down a room by as much as 20 degrees. If you want to cool your home to these levels, the best option would be a unit with a high BTU output. The higher the BTU rating of the air conditioner, the warmer the air will be.
Portable air conditioners with high BTU output are suitable for rooms such as the bedroom, which are often cooled down using air conditioning and for offices that need to be cooling down to work standards.
You should consider what is being cooled when choosing the best portable air conditioner for your needs. For example, if you have a room that is being cooled down to work standards, you will need a unit that has a high BTU output. These are generally placed in the garage or office. The whirlpool dual-exhaust portable air conditioners are a good example of this type. They can cool down a room in the garage to the levels needed for working by employees of the house.
A good example of a best portable air conditioner is the dry airflow air conditioners. This type is an inexpensive way of keeping the room cool. The dry airflow is made with a dryer that requires two fans to blow air through the dryer. The dry airflow is what is used to dry the hair and clothes of people who are using it.
Last update on 2021-03-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API